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Klarafestival Closing Concert

Fri 29 March 2019
BOZAR, Brussels

On the scheduled night of Brexit, we celebrate the deep and vibrant cultural exchange between Europe and the UK – past, present and future – in a concert of music and words. With renowned British tenor Ian Bostridge and French-German cellist/conductor Nicolas Altstaedt, we pair music by two British composers from different eras, placing Benjamin Britten’s radiant Les Illuminations, a song cycle set to Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry, next to the much-loved late twentieth-century work The Protecting Veil by John Tavener. Interwoven among these performances, British writers Jonathan Coe and Ali Smith read extracts from their novels Middle England and Autumn, and Sulaiman Addonia reads a new short story, offering their perspectives on the cultural bonds between Europe and the UK. We end the evening with Haydn’s tongue-and-cheek ‘Farewell’ symphony, where we see the players bid farewell in the iconic final movement, leaving the stage one by one until only a pair of muted violins are left.

In partnership with the British Council, BOZAR and Klarafestival